When we live a Fruit-of-the-Spirit life, we are living the characteristics of Christ. One might ask,
“How is this possible, given the fallen world in which we live, to accomplish this? How can we show
gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, joy, long-suffering, peace, self-control and love?” When so much
around us seems to be falling apart and we often feel as though we are overwhelmed?!
There is only one answer: We must stop…and remember, Christ, Jesus.
“How? I don’t know where to begin!!” one may exclaim.
Truly allow God to work in your life through His Holy Spirit, remembering that we don’t have to run this race, alone.
One day, when I was a young mother, my dad said to me: “Carol, you tell me that you are going to ‘leave it in God’s hands,’ but then I notice that you always take it back!” I didn’t quite understand at first because I believed that I wasn’t taking my sorrows back – but that was just what I was doing. Since I was surprised and actually taken aback by his observations, it has taken a long while for me to achieve this ‘letting go’ phenomenon. At the time, in my daily and life, my work as an R.N. demanded that I make decisions and take responsibility for the welfare of patients in my care. Being a single parent and working full time seemed to demand all my time and energy. Yet I believed at the time that I was resting in God. I wasn’t. I was relentless and almost tenacious in trying to figure it out, fix it, make it better, and take away the pain. It was exhausting! I did this for years to come but dad’s statement was at the forefront of my mind.
It wasn’t until I was truly able to let it go and rest in God’s promise for those I loved and for myself – until I was able to rest in His love and tender mercies, that I was able to live the life He wanted for me, free of rushing to solve the problem, free of angst to find a solution, just free, indeed!
Resting in the Lord means drawing closer to Him than ever before, in prayer, in reading His Word and in breathing in His peace that passes all understanding. It means quiet time alone with Him as well as touching other lives for Him in the way Jesus taught us to do –living a Fruit-of the-Spirit life where all our characteristics are of Christ, not just a few or most of them. It means coming to a screeching halt and actually stepping away from the disturbances and pressures of daily life and taking inventory as to what is going on with you, in your life. When you step away from the situation and look at what it is that you’re dealing with, you can then see what you need to do about it. It’s when you finally stop trying to run this race alone and invite the Lord into your circle, that life begins to make sense and your plight becomes easier.
In the practice of resting in Jesus, the fruits of the Spirit naturally unfold. Life becomes a natural by-product, as it were, gifted to us from the Father of Lights. Through touching Him in spirit, and patiently waiting for His grace, I had at last heeded my father’s words.
© 2016 Carol Ann Castagna
He leads me by quiet waters. Psalm 23: 2